State shuts down BevMo!

The closed Bevmo! store in Menlo Park. Post photo.

This story first appeared in the Friday morning (Sept. 8) print edition of the Daily Post. If you want to read important local news stories first, pick up the Post in the mornings at 1,000 Mid-Peninsula locations.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control yesterday closed the BevMo! liquor store at 700 El Camino Real in Menlo Park yesterday (Thursday, Sept. 7) for 65 days for allegedly selling booze to minors, according to Menlo Park police.

ABC claims the store had sold alcohol to three minors over the past two years, said Menlo Park Police Officer Galen Fliege.

Fliege said officers were told the store would be closed for roughly two months. The doors to the store were barricaded with barrels when the Post stopped by last night.

A sign letting people know about the suspension was posted on the doors, and a second identical sign that was visible from the outside was posted on theh bourbon aisle.

Fliege said the store had sold liquor to people under 21 three times between August 2021 and January 2023, which he said typically result in an administrative hearing with the ABC.

Fliege is in charge of a decoy program in which volunteers under 21 try to buy booze from local stores to check if the stores check IDs during the transaction. If police catch a business that is selling to one of the volunteers, the business will be fined. If this happens more than once during a given time frame, it’s possible a store could have its liquor license suspended or revoked.

A representative for BevMo! could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

The license suspension only applies to the Menlo Park store and not other BevMo! locations.

In February 2021, Ernie’s Liquors at 3870 El Camino Real in Palo Alto had its liquor license yanked because the store allegedly sold alcohol to 10 minors, one being 15 years old. Ernie’s is now under new management.

BevMo! is supposed to reopen on Nov. 11 with a three-year probationary license. If the store sells to a minor during that three-year timeframe, its license could be revoked.


  1. This doesn’t make a lot of sense. When I’ve been at BevMo, they card everybody. It slows down the checkout line. And I think they have their cash register set up so that if the clerk doesn’t put the person’s ID into the system, it won’t complete the sale. Something’s not right here.

  2. I think the police should have higher priorities than seeing if stores check IDs. I’d rather have police on the traffic beat, stopping unsafe drivers. Or patrolling our neighborhoods so out-of-town burglars decide to go somewhere else.

  3. Back in the 60’s we’d take our soda bottles to Ernie’s Liquors and he’d pay us 3 cents for small and 5 cents for large bottles. Sometimes he’d throw in an extra dollar. He was such a nice guy to us kids.

  4. There policy is to fire an employee who actually sells alcohol to a minor. They send their own decoys into stores to make sure that every customer is asked for their ID. whether they’re buying alcohol or something else. It’s company policy that unaccompanied minors (under 21) aren’t allowed to enter the store,but that’s difficult to enforce. Bevmo is notorious for mistreating their employees & it’s certainly possible that someone did this on purpose ! A dozen people are out of work,the Manager may have been fired & the District Manager was certainly reprimanded. Bevmo’s well known policy of never accosting shoplifters makes them an easy tärget & results in hundreds of dollars in losses on a daily basis ! Why would minors attempt to purchase alcohol when it’s so much easier to steal it instead ? Bevmo – Beverages & More Trouble in your community !!!

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